Using multiple property managers?

Unhappy landlord asks:
(updated on Thursday, May 01st 2014)

How many letting agents can you appoint? I am currently using a letting agency to source tenants for my investment property. The agreement is that they will market and show the property, conduct reference checks, lodge bond and do contracts. Once the house is tenanted then I will take over the management myself. However I am not convinced that this agency is actively participating in this agreement, as I had to do an open home myself over a weekend as the agent was "unavailable". Please advise if it is okay to use more than one letting agency to do the letting process? Also what is the best way to terminate my current relationship with the agency?

Our Experts Answer:

You need to look at the arrangement that you have with your letting agent. Are you paying the agent for effort rather than results? Is it an exclusive agency? If not, then the appointment of a second agent on a similar basis should not be a problem. However, be wary of having two agents with carte blanche authority to sign tenancy contracts. What happens if they both sign up different tenants, unaware of each other’s activity? You must ensure that this sort of confusion is avoided. One way is to retain for yourself the authority to approve a tenancy application. Remember, though, that with Internet advertising all agents are effectively “fishing in the same pond”. Having a second agent advertising the same property can work against you and dilute the efforts of both agents to find your tenant for you. The race could be on to find the first tenant rather than the most appropriate one!

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